Athletes who give back in big ways

Pro-athletes are revered for their exceptional talent on the sports field, but many take their sportsmanship off the court and field and into the real world by making significant charitable contributions to worthy causes.

Pro-athletes’ involvement in charity recently came to the fore again, when it became public that controversial NFL football player and Nike’s newest face, Colin Kaepernick, had donated $1 million to various charitable organisations over the past two years, despite not playing a single NFL game in the same period of time.

Here are some of the most charitable athletes in the world today.

Neymar Jr.

The football star established The Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr. to help 2,400 disadvantaged children in his native Brazil. The project also supports the Waves for Water initiative – a project that raises funds to provide clean water to needy communities all around the world.

Serena Williams

Undoubtedly one of the legends of the court, Serena Williams doesn’t hesitate to give back to those in need. Williams officially supports 13 charities and 29 causes, and the Serena Williams Foundation is involved in countless other initiatives. Williams is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

John Cena

Don’t let his Tough Guy persona fool you – this WWE legend’s heart is very soft. Cena is by far the most requested athlete of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and has granted more than 500 of those wishes thus far. Cena is also very involved with the Susan G. Komen organisation, which raises funds for and awareness about breast cancer.

Yuna Kim

The South Korean figure skater has been involved with in uplifting and supporting young figure skaters since 2007, and as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Kim has raised more than $1.8 million to support ill patients and disadvantaged children across the globe.

Cristiano Ronaldo

He might be the bad boy of football, but Cristiano Ronaldo has also been the most charitable athlete in the world for the past few years. He is involved in a myriad of charity projects, ranging from cancer centres in his home country, to supporting biodiversity conservation initiatives, to disaster relief, to paying $83,000 for a 10-year-old’s brain surgery. To top all that, Ronaldo was also named Save the Children’s Global Artist Ambassador in 2011.

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